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How To Make Bread Crumbs

posted in Pantry by Kathy Maister

Bread Crumbs are just that – crumbled bread. Bread crumbs can be used in a variety of ways. They can be used as a filler in things like meatloaf, as a coating for fried food like home-made fish fingers, pork chops, goat cheese, eggplant Parmesan or chicken cutlets, or as a topping to a baked casserole.

Fried Goat Cheese Salad

If you’re reading a recipe, watch out for whether it calls for “dry” or “fresh” breadcrumbs; the two are not interchangeable! You can buy dry bread crumbs at the grocery store (which I always do) but you have to make your own fresh bread crumbs. You can freeze fresh bread crumbs, just be sure to date the freezer bag and use the crumbs within two months of freezing.

I always have a box of dry breadcrumbs in the cupboard. I particularly like the seasoned variety.

Fresh bread crumbs are really a snap to make! You can use any bread you have in the house.

There are basically three ways to make bread crumbs;

  • with a knife
  • with a food processor,
  • or with a blender

As you would expect, the food processor and the blender make really fine, uniform crumbs that are just perfect. But if you don’t own either of these pieces of equipment, a knife will work just fine.

Fresh bread crumbs made from slices of white bread need the crusts trimmed off first.

With a bread knife, cut the bread up into crumbs. If the bread is really soft just let it sit on the counter to dry out for a bit, and it should then be easy to cut into crumbs. Try to cut the bread as fine as possible.

Approximately 4 slices of bread will make one cup of crumbs.

Onion rolls make great, already seasoned, fresh bread crumbs. One big roll will make about 2 cups of fresh crumbs. A food processor makes perfect fresh bread crumbs in about 30 seconds.

You can also use a blender to make fresh breadcrumbs. While the motor is running add small chunks of the bread through the hole in the cover of the blender. Don’t over-fill the blender!

“Panko” bread crumbs are a Japanese version of dry bread crumbs that were once only available in Asian markets but you can now get them at the grocery store.

These dry bread crumbs are very light and SUPER crunchy. The Whole Foods grocery store in my neighborhood sells spinach flavored ones as well.

You can flavor your own dry or fresh unseasoned bread crumbs with different spices and herbs as well as cheese. The recipe below is one of my favorites that I have used for a topping over baked fish.

Seasoned panko bread crumbs:
Makes 1 1/3 cups

Crumb toppings or coatings can actually be made from a variety of foods. Corn flakes, potato chips, saltines or Ritz crackers can add a crunchy topping to almost any casserole, but that’s another day!


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will said:

usually when bread gets too old or forgotton overnight on the counter, I just put it in a paper bag for a few more days to really dry them out, and then I just take the paper bag and start wailing at it with a rolling pin.

It’s such fun! how can life be too short to get out traffic jam frustrations with a good ol’ rolling pin ?


Kathy Maister said:

Well that was my “laugh out loud” moment for today! Thanks Will!

Kay said:

This was very helpful. I was unsure if dry and fresh were interchangable…now I know – NOT! I now know how to make them and I love the ideas you gave on different kinds to try. Thanks a bunch!

Rambodoc said:

Hi. I just wanted to say that I subscribe to your blog, and love the posts. It is a great help in improving my brand value within my family.

Thanks a bunch, and keep up the good work!

More strength to you!!

Kathy Maister said:

Thanks Rambodoc! BTW I just posted Eggplant Parmean where you can see some of these bread crumb options in use.

Rambodoc said:

I know: I came to this post from there, and made a modification of the dish. Was yummy!

Kathy Maister said:

That’s great! BTW – I LOVE your ultimate tag-crusher!

Rambodoc said:

Hey, thanks, Kathy! :-)

john206 said:

I just rub the slices between my hands and then add any seasoning i need,depends on what i am using the bread crumbes for.

Kathy Maister said:

Very clever indeed John206! I would have never thought of just using my hands to make bread crumbs.

monika Taylor said:

I want to make panko bread crumbs, everything tells me to buy them and that they’re crunchier. What is the process to make them, any special bread type?

Kathy Maister said:

Monika, that is an excellent question. I have never made my own Panko bread crumbs, but plain white bread is what they use in this recipe.

sanjay said:

I am interested to manufacture in India and although I think there is a large requirement of bread crumb I would like to know the manufactures in the world and also future market requirement .

Kathy Maister said:

Sorry Sanjay, but you will have to go elsewhere for this sort of advice. is all about learning the basics in cooking.

me said:

i love bread crumbs by them self just fry the then it’s really nice TRY IT!!!

startcooking said:

Isn’t that like eating toast! :)

andrew said:

thanks i needed to know how to make fresh breadcrmbs so i could make baked mac and cheese!

startcooking said:

I show exactly how to do it in one of my Mac and Cheese recipes. (I find that Peperidge Farms bread makes great bread crumbs for mac and cheese)

c wilks said:

try adding different things like grated cheese or herbs to your breadcrumbs when making things like fish fingers very nice

RJ said:

I make my own multigrain bread, a simple recipe I created. I always make sure to make an extra amount just for fresh bread crumbs. After baking the bread I let it cool for a day and then put it through my food processor to get nice even multi grain bread crumbs.

Store in a resealable bag in the fridge. Last for weeks and is on hand whenever needed. I also keep a bag of flavored bread crumbs with my favorite spices.

I use this in all my recipes that need a coating. It is healthy and full of flavor. A great way to get your fiber into your diet with that extra crunch.

Jo said:

hi!, I’m making chicken in bread crumbs. do you know which bread crumbs i need? the chef i watched make it on tv did not state

startcooking said:

Use dried bread crumbs for your chicken in bread crumbs. Better yet, try my recipe for it!

liz said:

thankyou! so much told me exactly what i wanted to know! (after i have been to many sites that didnt) :)

Loren said:

Thanks much for this wonderful information; I always wondered why some recipes used dry and others used fresh bread crumbs. I’m getting ready to make crab cakes, and it calls for fresh, so I’m getting out the food processor per your instructions! Cheers from Oklahoma!

startcooking said:

Hi Loren,
It really doe make a very big difference in the final texture of what you are making.
(I LOVE crab cakes!)

startcooking said:

FYI – Noble Pig’s recipe for Crab Cakes is the BEST!
Panko bread crumbs are perfect in this recipe.


david lemon said:

Thanks for the info on fresh breadcrumbs,I’ll try my handblender first ! I’m going to make a stuffed mushroom recipe.Fingers crossed !!

julie said:

thanks for the bread crumb info , it really helped me out!

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